12 Actionable Marketing Tips for Marketing Agencies Jeanna Barrett When running and owning a marketing agency, it can be easy to get caught up in the time it takes to build wow-worthy marketing campaigns for your clients and forget to market your own business. But, with hundreds of marketing agencies out there and more cropping up every day, it’s important to spend time every month on tasks that will make your company excel and stand out from the pack. Why would a new client choose your agency over all the others? With a few online marketing and thought leadership tricks, you can ensure a stamp of approval — and a paycheck — from potential clients. Here are 12 ways I’ve seen the best marketing agencies promote their services:Guest BlogMake it a top priority to contribute thought leadership blog posts to another company’s blog that has the same target audience you’re trying to reach. This will position you as knowledgeable in your industry and open up your reach to a whole new customer segment, for zero cost. It’s easy to email editors or content marketers and pitch a story idea because everyone is looking for quality blog content these days. Another great strategy is to get a content placement on a top tier marketing media site such as Social Media Today, ProBlogger or Moz. These sites have a high volume of traffic, and chances are your post will get shared a lot, driving a good amount of traffic back to your business through a placed link. Don’t forget that every time you guest blog, it’s a quality backlink to your site that improves SEO. Word of Mouth Marketing People trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other source according to a Nielson study on consumer trust in advertising. The study found that 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products. There are two key areas where you can excel that will leave your customers raving—results and service. Make sure you’re producing results that will leave customers telling all their colleagues that they need to hire your agency, too. And, make your service shine with surprise and delight moments. Send thank you cards, never miss a deadline, be warm and communicate often with your customers. Business CardsDespite being an age-old tactic, business cards still work in the digital world. You never know when you’re going to meet someone who starts talking to you about their business and how they’re in need of good marketing advice. Whether at dinner or on vacation in the Caribbean, the ability to hand out a business card and give someone a reason to contact you later is never a bad idea. NetworkingAn entrepreneurial friend of mine who owns his own video marketing business once gave me great advice on how to grow a business. “Make a point to schedule two networking events a week,” he said. Whether it’s attending a networking event or reaching out to someone you haven’t seen in awhile or have never met, these are all great opportunities to talk about your business and how you might be able to collaborate. Chances are the next time that person hears about someone in need of marketing advice, they’ll think of you and the connection you made over a cup of double brewed Sumatra. Professional WebsiteWhen someone hears about your marketing agency, they’ll likely do a search for you online and visit your website to research more about you. Because you’re in the marketing world, the face of your brand is everything. Take the time to put together a thoughtful brand and a cohesive, professional website. You can find top-notch templates for SquareSpace and WordPress that’ll make your site appear as if you spent thousands on developers. If your agency’s website shines online and features your best client work in a portfolio, it’ll be an easy choice for new potential clients to sign on the dotted line.Testimonials & Case StudiesKeeping in line with how important word-of-mouth marketing is, testimonials and case studies highlight what your customers think about you. This helps potential clients build trust with your brand and make a decision to hire you. Don’t be afraid to ask clients after you’ve finished a project to provide a sentence or two for your website. Even better—ask them to recommend you or your company on LinkedIn, and then you can take out pieces of each recommendation and use them later as a testimonial quote on your site. Client LogosFeaturing the logos of brands you’ve worked with on your website helps build credibility for your agency. When potential clients see other big brands who have said, “Yes” to you, they’ll feel comfortable saying yes too. Take the top six brands you’ve worked with who are the most well-known, and feature their logos in a client list on your home page. You can see an example of this on Hatchbuck’s home page. Awards & AccreditationWhen your marketing agency wins an award, it is a stamp of approval from the credible sources who hand out these awards. This goes a long way in selling your marketing agency as the best in the business since you’d likely beat out other agencies for the award. Enter campaigns you’ve created for your clients in the Shorty Awards or Content Marketing Institute’s yearly content awards. Also, look around online for accreditations that can also highlight that your agency is knowledgeable. A great accreditation to have is the Google Analytics certification that tells others you’re a whiz at tracking and understanding how online marketing is working for your customers. Becoming a Hatchbuck Partner is another great accreditation to have, especially if you serve smaller clients.Guest Speaking OpportunitiesJust like the thought leadership guest blogs, speaking at conferences makes you stand out as a thought leader in marketing. Thousands of people attend marketing conferences each year to gain knowledge. If you, or your agency’s employees, lead a talk at a major marketing conference, people will Tweet about it – expanding the audience that looks to your agency for advice when they need it. Social Media – Twitter ListsSocial media is a powerful tool, and far too vast to go into all of its capabilities in a paragraph in this blog post, but you should definitely start building social media communities for your marketing agency. Regularly share what you’re working on and awards you’ve won, and connect with all of your clients online too. The best way to build your marketing agency through social media is by being very active on Twitter. You can create public or private Twitter lists to follow potential clients, competitors, brands and more. Regularly converse with these brands, share their content and build relationships so they’ll share your content in return and help spread the word about your agency.Niche Online CommunitiesSocial media is really about the power of communities, and niche communities are the most powerful of them all. Block out time each week to participate in conversations happening around marketing in subreddits, Inbound.org or LinkedIn Groups. Not only will you likely learn something new and stay on top of trends, but you’ll start to build online relationships that will pay back two-fold when you have news to share or when they start recommending you or your brand.Content Marketing & SEOI believe the most powerful marketing tool you can use to market your agency is content marketing. It is the number one marketing tool I tell everyone to invest in. Consistently writing quality content for your marketing agency’s website does a number of things:Showcases thought leadership to website visitorsIncreases organic search results and targets relevant keywords, which exponentially builds traffic to your website from qualified buyers Drives website visits back to your site from social media and gives you owned content to share on your social media profiles Provides you with the opportunity to build premium content pieces that can be gated, if you choose, to collect a lead listBuilds a newsletter list of customers and potential customers, which you can then utilize to spread news about your agencyHow do you market your agency? If you have a unique tip to share, let us know in the comments or on Twitter @gethatchbuck.